Don Edwards Literary Memorial

May 28, 2006

On Myth, Religion, Dogma, Belief


We have talked about the Jesus of our monastic tradition being rather different than the Jesus we have come to understand. And that his persona was created by others after his death. And the dogmas of the Church, evolving over centuries. I believed it all when we were Christian Brothers. At this time of my life, it isn’t so important as to what of those days I believe….I have come to think that most of it is completely irrelevant. I don’t care if Jesus us god or man or both. I think the Trinity logic completely contrived and amusing. I find I have still retained a fondness for certain saints even though their lives are probably contrived by followers too. .St. Francis is my all time favorite….a genuine spiritual wacko. I am a big fan of the Virgin of Guadalupe, her mosaic on the bottom of my swimming pool here in Ajijic.

But I find my basic beliefs and values haven’t changed much, that is my moral convictions, notions of good and evil, what one should do to lead a virtuous life. I found many of the same ideas in Plato’s “Dialogues” and Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics.”

I take two of the children of the construction boss to a “creative writing” class each Saturday. The class is full of about 12 kids, all from poor Mexican families, and are taught by a very good teacher. Their theme was mythology this week. I chatted with the teacher and wondered if kids sometimes wrote about the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe. He got very serious. “No,” he said. “Nunca…..never. The Virgin is religion, not mythology.”

Which got me to wondering quite what the difference is. Of course Jonah did not last long in the colon of a whale. One wonders about Lazarus, but he could have been entombed prematurely and an observant Jesus did what needed to be done to bring him back. Myth and Scripture…..I’m not certain I can tell the difference any more, though both often have very wise things to say.

My best, as always.


Filed under: DON POSTS — Don @ 9:31 pm

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